The Two Oceans Aquarium's rooftop is not a place most people would call "hospitable". Aside from the gorgeous murals around our dive centre, the rooftop is a huge maze of water tanks, cranes, surplus building materials, air conditioning units and solar panels. Never mind the fact that if you relax too much up there you might miss your step and lose your cellphone or shoe to the Predator Exhibit.

Welcome to our rooftop vegetable garden - the brainchild of Conservation Coordinator Talitha Noble!

But out of this chaos, some of our staff have taken the initiative to create something beautiful...

Lots of hard work, passion and perseverance have gone into this garden. Talitha and her rehab sea turtles are finally reaping the rewards of months of work!

What originally began as turtle conservationist Talitha Noble's personal project as a place to grow veggies sustainably to feed our rehab green sea turtles Bob and Sandy has evolved into something more.

When not diving with the Collections Team, Deen is an indigenous plant fundi. Waterwise gardening is his forte.
Baby carrots slowly growing in an old sink for Sandy the turtle.

With the help of Collections Aquarist Deen Hill and Workshop Assistant Themba Ngece (who is also a trained horticulturalist), the project has grown to include waterwise indigenous plants and herbs to share with our staff.

Themba knows his horticulture! Caring for the plants up here and coming up with long-term companion gardening ideas are his areas of expertise.

Other staff members slowly caught on - stray house plants and garden clippings have all been given new life, as small donations and personal touches have been added by everyone.

This veggie garden was all Talitha's idea, but she's not done yet - more awesome ideas are coming.
Hands off! These yummy veggies are just for the turtles (but humans can help themselves to the lovely herbs growing here).

Recycled artwork and repurposed building material, scraps of wood and other odds and ends have been brought together to create an oasis where staff now want to spend their breaks.

Having lunch with this little guy is much safer than doing so on the edge of the I&J Ocean Exhibit.

And the original sustainability goal has not been lost either. Condensation from nearby air conditioners is used to keep the veggies watered, and lunch scraps are being added to a productive little worm farm.

This worm farm turns lefover lunch scraps into liquid fertiliser - helping grow yummy veggies for our rescued sea turtles.

It's something special to have had so many staff come together to create this wonderful garden from nothing. From our hands-on curatorial staff to the office workers of the marketing department, everyone feels a bit of ownership of our little oasis in the middle of the V&A Waterfront.

Photo by @talnoble

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